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The Slave Boat Worker is a minor antagonist from the 2013 historical film 12 Years A Slave, based upon the real-world accounts of a survivor of slavery prior to the American Civil War and the subsequent defeat of slavery in the Deep South.
The Slave Boat Worker has a small but ultimately wicked role in the film as he played a part in illegally taking many African-Americans to be slaves in the South, despite many of the victims being freemen and women at the time - during their voyage from the free North to the South many of the slaves grew sick and weak, which the Slave Boat Worker decided to prey upon in the worst possible way.
On night the Slave Boat Worker attempts to rape one of the African-American women and when confronted by a frail and sick male he remorselessly stabs the man to death for no reason at all, happily killing the man and later forcing the other future slaves to dump his body into the river.
The future antics of this criminal is unknown but it is assumed he continued to rape, kill and enslave until he was either killed or removed from power following the Civil War.
- Despite his very small role, he is one of the more openly vile and evil characters in the film, who kills for no reason and sees slaves as nothing but things for his own amusement.
- The senseless act of murder was a criticism by some historians, who cast doubt that a slaver would kill one of his "stock" so quickly, considering that to a slaver any "stock" (especially males) would be valuable property to be sold and furthermore the worker was unlikely to of been the man in charge of the operation, meaning he would likely have to explain his actions to his superiors (who would also dislike a loss of potential sales).
- He is never named in the film and his actions, while historically inaccurate, serve to highlight the brutality of the slave trade - it is very likely that the character and his actions were specifically created to further bring home the message of how little the slavers and their "trade partners" cared about the lives of those they illegally forced into a life of servitude.